Donald Trump’s punitive tariffs on whisky have cost the industry more than £200 million, with exports to the US down 65% in May alone.
President Trump imposed 25% tariffs in October in retaliation to the European Union’s illegal subsidies to plane-maker Airbus.
Last month, the US Trade Representative (USTR) sought public opinion on whether to increase tariffs on EU products, and extend tariffs to other products, including gin and vodka made in the UK.
Boris Johnson has raised the issue with President Trump, but industry bosses are calling on the UK Government to go further and offer targeted support.
Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “The situation for our industry is severe. If these sorts of losses are sustained, there will be an impact on the jobs the industry and our supply chain supports, in Scotland and across the UK.
“Companies are working as hard as they can to build back from coronavirus lockdowns across our export markets, where bars, restaurants and hotels are starting to reopen and where normal life is starting to resume.”
She added: “But we need urgent government help too. US tariffs present a strategic, long-term threat to Scotch whisky’s sales and growth in its most mature market.
“Losses in market share that the industry is starting to experience because the tariff makes Scotch uncompetitive against other spirits, including American whiskies, and will take years to rebuild.”
If these sorts of losses are sustained, there will be an impact on the jobs the industry and our supply chain supports, in Scotland and across the UK.”
Ms Betts said she would like to see the UK negotiate the removal of tariffs as part of the ongoing UK-US trade negotiation.
“We believe this must be a central part of the next round of talks,” she said.
“Now the UK has left the EU, the government must use the flexibility of once again having an independent trade policy to draw a line under the UK’s part in EU-US trade disputes and enable Scotch and American whiskies to flourish once again through tariff-free trade.”
Whisky exports to the US have fallen by more than 30% since October last year when tariffs were imposed.
In April exports fell by 47% and 65% in May, compared to exports in the same months in 2019.